Missal of Silos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Missal of Silos is the oldest known paper document created in the Christian West; it is 11th century in date.[1] The quarto missal has 157 original folios of which 1 to 37 are paper and the rest in parchment.[2] Strictly speaking it is not exactly a missal: it has been described as a breviary-missal.[3] It can also be described as a Liber Mysticus or Breviarum gothicum.

The missal is held in the library of the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos near Burgos, Spain as Codex 6. It is one of a number of liturgical manuscripts of the Mozarabic rite which have been preserved in the Silos library, despite the suppression of the rite by Pope Gregory VII in 1089. However, rather than being produced at the scriptorium there, it originated from the monastery of Santa María la Real of Nájera. Nájera was in Christian territory at the time the document was created, but the paper for the missal is believed to have been manufactured in the Islamic world, possibly Islamic Spain.

Media interest[edit]

In 2013 the manuscript was inspected by Umberto Eco, who had referred to Silos in his 1980 novel The Name of the Rose.[3] Eco's visit was widely reported in the Spanish press.


  1. ^ Crespo, Carmen; Vinas, Vincente (1984). "The Preservation and Restoration of Paper Records and Books: A RAMP Study with Guidelines" (pdf). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. p. 3. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  2. ^ Vivancos, Miguel C. (2007). Susana Zapke, ed. Hispania Vetus: Musical-Liturgical Manuscripts from Visigothic Origins to the Franco-Roman Transition. Bilbao: Fundación BBVA. p. 290. 
  3. ^ a b "La biblioteca del monasterio de Silos hace tangible la ficción de Umberto Eco". Diario de Burgos. 

External links[edit]